Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract Signatures

News | March 12, 2024

Freepik Emoji - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract Signatures

Image: Freepik/Emoji

A Saskatchewan appeals court is currently deliberating whether a thumbs-up emoji sent via text message can legally constitute a signature in a contract

The case in question involves a legal dispute in Saskatchewan, Canada, where the courts are deciding if a thumbs-up emoji sent in a text message can be considered a legally binding signature in a contract. This issue arose from a conflict between two farming companies, South West Terminal and Achter Land & Cattle.

  • In March 2021, South West sent a text message to Achter Land, asking for confirmation of a contract to purchase 86 metric tons of flax grains, to which Achter Land responded with a thumbs-up emoji.  However, the flax grains were never delivered, leading to a lawsuit where South West Terminal was awarded $82,000 by Justice T.J. Keene of the Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan.

See:  Decoding Emoji Interpretations Across Generations: Legal Implications and Regulatory Insights

  • The judge ruled that the emoji sent by Achter Land constituted a valid signature, indicating agreement to the contract.
  • Achter Land's lawyer argued against this decision in the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, claiming that an emoji cannot serve as a valid signature due to its lack of explicit intent and clear agreement indication. The lawyer also contested the formal nature of their previous text agreements.

Syngrafi Intervenes

Toronto-based company esignature firm, Syngrafi, intervened in the appeal, emphasizing the importance of attaching electronic signatures to documents to meet legal requirements. The company's involvement highlights the evolving nature of digital communication and its implications for contract law. The appeals court has yet to issue a ruling, but the outcome could have significant implications for how electronic communications and expressions, like emojis, are interpreted legally in contract agreements.

Why It Matters

This evolving case is at the intersection of digital communication and legal standards for contracts. The outcome could set a precedent for how emojis and other informal digital expressions are interpreted in legal agreements, impacting future digital communications and contract law.

See:  Syngrafii Integrates Trulioo’s Advanced Identity Verification to Enhance eSignature Security

The involvement of companies like Syngrafi also indicates a growing need for clarity in electronic signatures, reflecting the changing landscape of business transactions in the digital age.

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract SignaturesThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

Latest news - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract SignaturesFF Logo 400 v3 - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract Signaturescommunity social impact - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract Signatures

Support NCFA by Following us on Twitter!

NCFA Sign up for our newsletter - Court Debates Emoji as Binding Contract Signatures


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × two =